About Marrakech

The town of Marrakech is divided into two distinct parts: the Medina, or the historical city, and the new city with two principal districts that are called: Gueliz and Hivernage. Gueliz is thus the European modern district of the town of Marrakech. Its name comes from the French word “église” some say, because the first monument that was built there was the Catholic Church Saints Martyrs. But some tend to affirm that the name is rather Berber and comes from the hill of Gueliz

Airport
Marrakech International Airport (Menara), Marrakech Morocco, Airport Code:RAK . Marrakech, – distance 2.2 miles from Menara Airport

Visas
All visitors require a passport. Citizens of the UK, EU, US, Australia and New Zealand do not need visas.
Nationals from Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and South Africa require visas.

Check the latest visa required with your local Moroccan embassies or representative.

Currency
Dirham (App. 9 Dirhams per Dollar)
1 Moroccan dirham (DH) = 100 centimes
1 DH = 0.088 Euro
1 DH = 0.13 Us Dollar
1 DH = 0.066 British Pound(Jan 2008)
importation and exportation of dirham are not allowed.

Credit Cards
Majors credit cards accepted in all the country. You’ll find distributors in the majors cities and international hotels

Tipping
Service charges are usually included in hotel bills, it is customary to tip hairdressers & waiters between MAD 1-2.

Useful Numbers
International Area Code: 212
Police 19
FIRE/AMBULANCE 15
Permanence accidents de la circulation 044-43-07-99

Electricity
220/110V AC 50HZ

Health Risks
Morocco is quite safe from a health point of view; however, some precautions will ensure a healthy, enjoyable trip. It is recommended that visitors see their physician to obtain appropriate inoculations.
Visitors should wash their hands often with soap and water, drink bottled water, eat cooked food including fruits and vegetables, and protect themselves from insects using repellents. They should avoid food purchased from street vendors and watch out for ice.

You should seek medical advice before travelling and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up to date.  NHS Direct (0845 46 47) can provide you with advice on the vaccination requirements for Morocco.

For further information on endemic diseases, like malaria, yeloow fever, health outbreaks and vaccination requirements for Morocco you should check the websites of:  NaTHNaC and NHS Scotland’s Fit For Travel

For more general health information see Travel Health

Business Hours
Banks are open Monday to Friday, 8:30 am – 11:30 am and 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm during the summer. They close earlier, at 2pm, in the summer, and hours vary during Ramadan.
Shops and Souks and generally open from 9:30 am – 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Government Offices are open from Monday to Thursday, 8:30 am – 12:00 pm and 2:30 pm – 6:30 pm; Friday, 8:30 am – 11:30 am and 3:00 pm-6:30 pm.

Climate
Mediterranean, becoming more extreme in the interior On the coast the weather is tourist-friendly pretty much all year round, although winter can bring cool and wet conditions in the north. In the lowlands, the cooler months from October to April are popular among visitors. This time of year is pleasantly warm to hot (around 30°C) during the day and cool to cold (around 15°C) at night. Winter in the higher regions demands some serious insulation. If you’re heading into the hills, the ski season usually lasts from December to March. For most trekking trips you should book in the high season (June 15 to September 15)

Clothing
During the daytime, however, it gets rather warm, and you would do well to wear lightweight clothes, as well as a good pair of sunglasses and something to cover your head. Most hotels, even those with international reputations, permit visitors to wear the usual casual clothes. Women should respect the mores of the society and not dress provocatively. American casual clothing is acceptable. A cardigan over the shoulders is useful when visiting religious shrines, as well as for cool evenings.

Imports
semiprocessed goods, machinery and equipment, food and beverages, consumer goods, fuel

Exports
phosphates and fertilizers, food and beverages, minerals

Trading Partners
EU, US, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Brazil

Industries
phosphate rock mining and processing, food processing, leather goods, textiles, construction, tourism

Teledensity
5.03 %

Government
constitutional monarchy

Geography
Morocco is situated on the north west of Africa and is over 446,000sq km in area. Morocco occupies the northwestern tip of Africa. The coastal areas are fertile but much of the rest of the country is taken up by the Atlas mountains which rise to over 4,000m and the Sahara desert. A city of irrigated gardens and sun-baked walls the colour of terracotta, the Medina of Marrakech was founded nearly a thousand years ago as an oasis in the arid Haouz plain. It has often been referred to as the Capital of the South and is an exotic blend of Arab, Berber and sub-Saharan influences. It is approximately 37 miles north of the High Atlas mountain range which lies between Marrakech and the Sahara. Marrakech is a city of 750,000 which commands the heart of the rich agricultural plain at the the foot of the High Atlas mountains known as the Haouz

Population
Morroco: 31 million
Marrakech city 3,135,000

Ethnic Groups
Arab-Berber 99.1%, other 0.7%, Jewish 0.2%

Languages
Arabic (official), Berber dialects, French often the language of business, government, and diplomacy.

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